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Original Research

The polity debate regarding same-gender blessings and marriages in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Roché F. Vermaak

Verbum et Ecclesia; Vol 31, No 1 (2010), 4 pages. doi: 10.4102/ve.v31i1.52

Submitted: 09 July 2009
Published:  23 September 2010


This paper will examine how the decision made by the Presbyterian Church in 1927 – to use polity rather than theology to solve its theological issues – has guided the same-gender blessing and marriage debate since the 1980s. The paper summarises the formation process of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s polity regarding same-gender blessing and marriage ceremonies in light of General Assemblies’ decisions and General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commissions’ ecclesiastical rulings.

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Author affiliations

Roché F. Vermaak, , United States


Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.); General Assembly; General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission; same-gender blessing and marriage; W-4.9001, the Book of Order; Special Commission of 1925


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